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#Forward!: Twitter as Citizen Journalism in the Wisconsin Labor Protests
Unformatted Document Text:  Twitter
and
the
Wisconsin
Labor
Protests

 
 5
 At
its
most
basic,
digital
communication
dramatically
speeds
the
process
of
 communicating
within
any
organization,
including
social
movements
(Myers,
1994).
 But
perhaps
more
importantly,
it
facilitates
much
easier
informal
communication
 between
a
movement
and
unaffiliated
but
sympathetic
individuals,
as
well
as
 decentralized
communication
between
and
among
those
individuals
(Diani,
2000;
 Myers,
1994).
Thus,
the
Internet
and
its
associated
technologies
provide
not
only
a
 bridge
from
a
movement
to
the
public,
they
provide
a
method
for
engagement
and
 participation
by
individuals
who
may
never
have
significant
contact
with
any
social
 movement
organization,
empowering
a
expanded
network
of
weak
ties.
 This
ability
of
new
communication
technologies
to
boost
civic
engagement
 and
social
mobilization
has
been
examined
from
a
variety
of
perspectives,
ranging
 from
traditional
protests
to
new
forms
of
activism
based
on
digital
communication
 to
pop
culture
fandom
(see
Scardaville,
2005).
Bimber
and
his
colleagues
(2005)
 note
that
Iraqis
used
text
messages
to
anonymously
report
criminal
activity
to
local
 authorities;
the
International
Campaign
to
Ban
Landmines
used
e‐mail
in
order
to
 reduce
overhead
and
increase
accessibility
while
operating
in
third
world
countries;
 and
in
the
“Battle
in
Seattle”
protests
against
the
World
Trade
Organization,
 disparate
groups
used
the
Internet
to
form
a
temporary
coalition
of
activists
with
 many
different
concerns
but
one
big
target
in
common.
In
the
Philippines,
the
 second
“People
Power”
revolution
was
organized
largely
through
text‐messaging
 (Rafael,
2003).
Each
of
these
occurrences
can
be
seen
as
precursors
of
later
protest
 or
social
movement
activity
organized
through
similar,
subsequent
technology,
such
 as
contemporary
social
network
sites.


Authors: Veenstra, Aaron., Iyer, Narayanan., Bansal, Namrata., Hossain, Mohammad., Park, Jiwoo. and Hong, Jiachun.
first   previous   Page 6 of 33   next   last



background image
Twitter
and
the
Wisconsin
Labor
Protests


5

At
its
most
basic,
digital
communication
dramatically
speeds
the
process
of

communicating
within
any
organization,
including
social
movements
(Myers,
1994).

But
perhaps
more
importantly,
it
facilitates
much
easier
informal
communication

between
a
movement
and
unaffiliated
but
sympathetic
individuals,
as
well
as

decentralized
communication
between
and
among
those
individuals
(Diani,
2000;

Myers,
1994).
Thus,
the
Internet
and
its
associated
technologies
provide
not
only
a

bridge
from
a
movement
to
the
public,
they
provide
a
method
for
engagement
and

participation
by
individuals
who
may
never
have
significant
contact
with
any
social

movement
organization,
empowering
a
expanded
network
of
weak
ties.

This
ability
of
new
communication
technologies
to
boost
civic
engagement

and
social
mobilization
has
been
examined
from
a
variety
of
perspectives,
ranging

from
traditional
protests
to
new
forms
of
activism
based
on
digital
communication

to
pop
culture
fandom
(see
Scardaville,
2005).
Bimber
and
his
colleagues
(2005)

note
that
Iraqis
used
text
messages
to
anonymously
report
criminal
activity
to
local

authorities;
the
International
Campaign
to
Ban
Landmines
used
e‐mail
in
order
to

reduce
overhead
and
increase
accessibility
while
operating
in
third
world
countries;

and
in
the
“Battle
in
Seattle”
protests
against
the
World
Trade
Organization,

disparate
groups
used
the
Internet
to
form
a
temporary
coalition
of
activists
with

many
different
concerns
but
one
big
target
in
common.
In
the
Philippines,
the

second
“People
Power”
revolution
was
organized
largely
through
text‐messaging

(Rafael,
2003).
Each
of
these
occurrences
can
be
seen
as
precursors
of
later
protest

or
social
movement
activity
organized
through
similar,
subsequent
technology,
such

as
contemporary
social
network
sites.



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